Music
The Manchester Review

alt-J | the Bridgewater Hall | 28th October

alt-J | the Bridgewater Hall | Sunday 28th October Sunday night was the first night this year that it’s dropped below freezing in Manchester and I spent more than an hour of it outside the Bridgewater Hall waiting to see if the fire-brigade would let us back in to see alt-J after the alarm went […]

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The Manchester Review

Tom Odell | O2 Apollo | October 19th

Tom Odell | O2 Apollo | Friday, October 19th Tom Odell first came to the attention of most of us in 2013 with his debut album, Long Way Down, which shot quickly to number 1. The following year – after an Ivor Novello Award win for Best Songwriter – his sickly sweet “Real Love” graced […]

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The Manchester Review

IDLES | The Ritz | October 19th

IDLES | The Ritz | Manchester | October 19th It came as no surprise to see the Ritz bursting at the seams for IDLES’ set on Friday. They are arguably the most exciting band on the British music scene at the moment and the hype and buzz around them was evident in the atmosphere as […]

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The Manchester Review

David Crosby | Palace Theatre | September 15th

David Crosby | Palace Theatre | Manchester | 15 September, 2018 David Crosby, former Byrd, formerly of Crosby, Stills and Nash (and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young), is, possibly thanks to the fact that many of his former band mates are no longer talking to him, these days touring with his son, James Raymond, Canadian […]

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The Manchester Review

Acid Mothers Temple | Bluedot Festival July 22nd | reviewed by Ronan Long

Acid Mothers Temple | Bluedot Festival | July 22nd 2018 One of the stranger acts in the shadow of the telescope this weekend was Acid Mothers Temple, a group that resolutely defies style, genre and most other standards of classification in popular music. Formed in 1995, Acid Mothers Temple are a group of experimental musicians mainly […]

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Ian Pople

Love Supreme Jazz Festival | Glynde Place | Sussex

Love Supreme Jazz Festival | Glynde Place, Sussex | 30th June/1st July Love Supreme presented a range of contrasts this year. It always does but this year those contrasts seemed more marked. They were contrasts between a range of very senior artists, let’s use the word ‘legends’, contrasted with a group of much younger artists […]

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Chad Campbell

Wolf Alice | Etihad Stadium | June 19th

Wolf Alice | Etihad Stadium | June 19th Wolf Alice is hardly what you would call an opening act, but then the Foo Fighters aren’t just any band to open for. Following West Yorkshire indie darlings The Cribs, Wolf Alice played an hour-long set for the some 60,000 fans and small flock of birds that […]

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The Manchester Review

City Calm Down | The Deaf Institute

City Calm Down | The Deaf Institute | May 23rd The Deaf Institute has views. There’s a long bar for leaning, a raised, glass-enclosed platform for those who like to watch from the side like Salieri in Amadeus, a standard pit in front of the raised stage, and a stair-step bleacher gallery where you can […]

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Chad Campbell

Too Many Zooz | Gorilla

Too Many Zooz | Gorilla | May 16th The Wiki-quote that Too Many Zooz are ‘well known for Pellegrino’s characteristic dance moves’ really doesn’t cover licking the full length of a black diamond-encrusted baritone sax. But it does point to how it is hard to tell your friend why they’ve got to come with you […]

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The Manchester Review

Of Mice & Men at 02 Ritz

Of Mice & Men | 02 Ritz | April 23rd Of Mice & Men, on tour round Britain at the moment, are a fairly new, high energy, American metalcore quartet – not, as I originally thought, a staging of John Steinbeck’s classic novel of the same name (in my defence, Of Mice and Men was […]

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The Manchester Review

Embrace at Manchester Ritz

Embrace / Manchester Ritz / 31 March 2018 You stay around long enough, someone will call you a survivor, as if you’ve made it through something and come out the other side, scarred and battleworn and all the more impressive for it. Embrace formed in 1990 – if you can believe that – although they […]

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The Manchester Review

Glass Mountain at Jimmy’s, reviewed by Tessa Harris

Glass Mountain, at Jimmy’s, February 11th, Manchester Sunday night at Jimmy’s was unmistakably northern. Classy acts with interesting sounds, all four bands were worth braving the sleet for. Headliners Glass Mountain (Bradford they told us) were preceded by Shallow Waters from Wigan, Violet Contours from York, and Dakota Avenue from Salford. While Jimmy’s wasn’t packed, […]

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The Manchester Review

Collabro, The Bridgewater Hall, reviewed by Simon Haworth

Collabro, with support from Phillipa Hanna & special guest Carly Paoli), The Bridgewater Hall, 30 November 2017. Collabro arrive at the Bridgewater Hall towards the end of their third long UK tour. Since wining Britain’s Got Talent in 2014 the group have toured internationally and released three highly successful albums (Stars (2014), Act Two (2015) […]

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The Manchester Review

BBC Philharmonic at the Bridgewater Hal, reviewed by Simon Haworth

BBC Philharmonic, conducted by Ludovic Morlot; The Bridgewater Hall, 25 November 2017. The world premiere of Arlene Sierra’s Nature Symphony tonight offers the audience a rare opportunity to hear the composer’s work performed in the UK. Brought up in Miami and New York but now resident in London, Sierra has collaborated with Ludovic Morlot and […]

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The Manchester Review

Sir András Schiff at the Bridgewater Hall, reviewed by Simon Haworth

Sir András Schiff, The Bridgewater Hall (International Concert Series), 13 November 2017. As one of the leading interpreters of Bach’s (amongst many other composers’) keyboard works, Sir András Schiff needs little to no introduction. His is a career littered with awards, recognition, residencies, influential recordings and impressive performances throughout the world. Playing in Manchester as […]

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The Manchester Review

The Hallé at the Bridgewater Hall, reviewed by Simon Haworth

The Hallé at the Bridgewater Hall, conducted by Ryan Wigglesworth; 9 November 2017. Tonight’s concert, with the all-purpose Ryan Wigglesworth at the helm as the Hallé’s Principal Guest Conductor, offers two works by Mozart, namely the Aria for Soprano, Piano and Orchestra ‘Ch’io mi scordi di te?…Non temer, amato bene’ (K. 505) and Symphony No […]

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The Manchester Review

Ibibio Sound Machine, Gorilla, reviewed by Marli Roode

Ibibio Sound Machine, Gorilla; 28 October 2017. The cowbell is the happiest sound there is. The song that requires the now shirtless (but still in a hat) percussionist to whale on the cowbell could’ve been twice as long and I wouldn’t have cared. But there are a lot of happy sounds tonight. There’s the mbira, […]

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The Manchester Review

Little Dragon, Manchester Academy, reviewed by Chad Campbell

Little Dragon; Manchester Academy, 26 October 2017. What do Bloc Party, Tv On the Radio, U2, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Queens of the Stone Age, share in common with Little Dragon? They all tried to make danceable records. Some decent. Some terrible. But none of them good. Little Dragon has been perfecting their indie/electronic/R&B […]

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The Manchester Review

BBC Philharmonic at the Bridgewater Hall, reviewed by Simon Haworth

BBC Philharmonic, conducted Nicholas Collon; The Bridgewater Hall, 21 October 2017. For their latest outing at the Bridgewater Hall the BBC Philharmonic offer up a diverse and intriguing program that allows different sections of the orchestra to shine before they come back together in full force for a glorious and powerful performance of probably the […]

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The Manchester Review

Manchester Folk Festival: Quiet Loner at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation, reviewed by Fran Slater

Late afternoon on the last day of the inaugural Manchester Folk Festival, and we were with Quiet Loner at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation. One look at the instruments waiting on the stage, from the slide guitar to the banjo, via the acoustic guitars and the accordion, and you might imagine you were at a […]

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The Manchester Review

Michael Kiwanuka, The Lowry, reviewed by Fran Slater

Before we move onto the headline act, we’ll need to take a little bit of time to talk about the support. Because Bedouine was quite stunning. Alone on a stage that would later hold a band of eight or nine, Bedouine not only commanded the space but also brought a silence into the crowd that […]

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The Manchester Review

Manchester Folk Festival: John Smith at Gorilla, reviewed by Fran Slater

John Smith, with Georgia Lewis and Nina Harries; Gorilla, 19 October 2017. I hate to say it, but it feels like Manchester Folk Festival may have created a rod for their own backs right from the very start. Because this event will be difficult to match. With sets from three very different acts, the festival […]

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The Manchester Review

Kuss Quartet, The Stoller Hall, reviewed by Simon Haworth

Kuss Quartet, The Stoller Hall, 12 October 2017. The Stoller Hall is still so new to Manchester that the distinctive smell of the wood which lines most of the auditorium’s walls subtly pervades its attendant audience. Opened in April this year, the hall is fairly unassuming from the outside as you pass Victoria Station and […]

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The Manchester Review

Manchester Literature Festival: Jon Savage at The International Anthony Burgess Foundation, reviewed by Chad Campbell

Jon Savage: Burgess, Punk and the Sex Pistols, introduced by Andrew Biswell, The International Anthony Burgess Foundation, 17 October 2017. Jon Savage moved with Punk to Manchester in the late seventies after the Sex Pistols’ famous ‘76 ‘June Show’ at the Lesser Free Trade Hall; a gig attended by Pistol’s fans (like Steve Morrissey) who […]

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The Manchester Review

Aziz Ibrahim: Lahore to Longsight, HOME, reviewed by James Chonglong Gu

After a brief pre-concert talk with Aziz Ibrahim and his friends, the hugely anticipated big show finally started at 7:30 sharp with a bang. Teaming up with Manchester Camerata (‘probably Britain’s most adventurous orchestra’), Aziz, a proud Manchester native, wowed big time in front of an electrified Mancunian crowd on HOME soil. Special guests of […]

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The Manchester Review

The Hallé at the Bridgewater Hall, reviewed by Simon Haworth

The Hallé at the Bridgewater Hall, conducted by Sir Mark Elder; 5 October 2017. Opening The Hallé’s 2017-18 season at The Bridgewater Hall, and their 160th season overall, is a program consisting of Debussy’s Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune, Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini and Stravinsky’s The Firebird, performed in its entirety. Not […]

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The Manchester Review

Circa Survive, The Amulet, reviewed by Simon Haworth

Circa Survive, The Amulet (Hopeless Records, 2017). Signs for this record, the sixth studio album from Philadelphia’s Circa Survive, were looking more than good ever since they began releasing teaser tracks in the summer, four in total: ‘Lustration’, ‘Rites of Investiture’, ‘The Amulet’ and ‘Premonition of the Hex’. The consistency and excellence of those releases […]

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Lucy Burns

Bluedot: Sunday’s music, reviewed by Lucy Burns

Bluedot, Jodrell Bank Observatory, Orbit stage, July 9 2017. At a festival like Bluedot where so much depends on the science talks, the workshops, the demonstrations, the projections, the light shows, the readings…you’d expect the music programming to get left behind. Besides the set of fairly predictable crowd pleasing headliners (Pixies, Orbital, and alt-J) Bluedot […]

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Lucy Burns

Bluedot: Saturday’s music, reviewed by Lucy Burns

Bluedot, Jodrell Bank Observatory, Orbit stage, July 8 2017. At a festival like Bluedot where so much depends on the science talks, the workshops, the demonstrations, the projections, the light shows, the readings…you’d expect the music programming to get left behind. Besides the set of fairly predictable crowd pleasing headliners (Pixies, Orbital, and alt-J) Bluedot […]

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The Manchester Review

Bluedot: Radiophonic Workshop, reviewed by David Hartley

Bluedot, Jodrell Bank Observatory, Orbit stage, July 9 2017. There’s a quiet thrill of anticipation in the stuffy air of the Orbit tent, early evening of the Bluedot Saturday. It’s the bubble of knowing that witnessing the BBC Radiophonic Workshop live is likely to be a rare and unique pleasure. With Leftfield and Orbital on […]

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The Manchester Review

Bluedot: Orbital, reviewed by David Hartley

Bluedot, Jodrell Bank Observatory, Lovell stage, July 8 2017. With the blazing sun on its way down and the giddy full moon on its way up, the second night of Bluedot needed some suitable music-of-the-spheres to toast the glorious day. Fortunate then that techno pioneers Orbital had set aside their three year indefinite hiatus to […]

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The Manchester Review

Bluedot: Delia Derbyshire and Mary Casio, reviewed by Tessa Harris

Bluedot, Jodrell Bank Observatory, Delia Derbyshire Day – 80th Anniversary Tribute, Nebula Stage, July 8; Mary Casio: Journey to Cassiopeia, Lovell stage, July 8 2017. At festivals, especially big ones with lots of good stuff going on, you get used to wisps of sound from other tents and stages intruding on your experience. I’ve always […]

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The Manchester Review

Bluedot: Pixies, reviewed by Tessa Harris

Bluedot, Jodrell Bank Observatory, Lovell stage, July 7 2017. Pixies under the Lovell Telescope with talks on how the universe was formed still ringing in my ears made a strange and beautiful kind of sense. The day was hot and heavy and the crowd that waited at barriers for them for hours beforehand was already […]

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The Manchester Review

Bluedot: Ezra Furman & The Boyfriends, reviewed by Tessa Harris

Bluedot, Jodrell Bank Observatory, Lovell Stage, July 7 2017. “This is my favorite thing to do in the world” Ezra Furman told an adorning front row at Bluedot on Friday night, “thank you for being here with me.” And as someone shouted up at them, it was a gawd-damn pleasure Ezra! With performances that are […]

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The Manchester Review

Bluedot: Leftfield, reviewed by David Hartley

Bluedot, Jodrell Bank Observatory, Orbit stage, July 7 2017. Twenty-two years have whipped past since Leftfield released their pioneering album Leftism and joined the ranks of Chemical Brothers, The Prodigy and Orbital in steering British music away from the total heat-death of endless guitars. The Orbit tent is packed for a full performance of the […]

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